I am a staff nurse in a large teaching hospital. I will be 54 soon, and need to plan the next phase of my career. I am working on my MSN and need to decide which direction to take. I am considering informatics, nursing administration or education. I want to get my masters in an area that will give me the most options for my age.
I was working toward informatics, however, I am worried I will be too limited in job options. I love education, precepting new nurses and teaching. I also love nursing administration as I have been a nurse manager but went back to 13-hour shifts so I could babysit my grandchildren. I am really torn in which direction to go. I am hoping you might shed some light on what is out there and has the most opportunity for a tired old nurse like me.
Torn Between Educational Tracks
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Torn Between Educational Tracks,
What’s important is you get an MSN. The specific focus is much less important than you might realize. One track is not more valuable or marketable than another.
If you get an MSN with a focus in education or informatics, you’ll still be able to go after an administrative position. If you get an MSN in informatics or administration, you’ll still be able to go after an education position. Choose the track with the course work and curriculum that is most interesting and exciting to you. If it is informatics, then stick with it. Dont second guess yourself. The rest will work itself out. Youre still getting the same basic education. You’ll still have the MSN to add after your name and to your resume.
Because you are gearing up to make a transition in your career, in addition to elevating your credentials, I encourage you to also elevate your networking and self-marketing skills and activities. This includes having a business card made for yourself and actively attending professional events such as association meetings, conferences, conventions and career fairs. For example, attend local chapter meetings of the American Nurses Association (www.ana.org) or the Association of Nurse Executives (www.aone.org) whether or not you are a member of either. Networking is a great way to explore options, make valuable connections, find role models and mentors and learn about job opportunities. Everything happens through networking.
Just for the record, you may be tired but you’re not old, especially by today’s life expectancy standards. Read “Age is a state of mind” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/State-of-Mind)